Wyoming Lawmakers Reach Budget Compromise, But Issues Remain

Clara VasquezMar 10, 2018

Hundreds of teachers in central Kentucky rallied in front of public schools Thursday morning to protest proposed cuts to their retirement benefits in what could be a precursor to a statewide strike. But after meeting privately for hours, Republican leaders decided not to vote on the bill and sent it back to a legislative committee for possible changes.

The state Senate was scheduled to vote on Senate Bill 1 Friday, which would temporarily reduce the annual cost-of-living raises for retired teachers. He said the caucus took a blind ballot Friday and by a single vote, the measure didn't have enough to pass.

The current version of the bill would move future teachers out of defined benefit pensions -which guarantee benefits from retirement until death - and into "hybrid" cash balance retirement plans.

State workers hired since January 1, 2014 already receive cash-balance plans that guarantee retirement accounts grow by at least 4 percent every year.

Coe said Laramie County School District 1 will take the largest cuts to groundskeeper funding should the bill pass.

Among the key backers of the bill has been Tampa-based Amscot Financial, Inc., whose roster of lobbyists includes former Congressman and state Sen.

"I do not think they influenced anything that happened here today", Stivers said. "We're in a very tough spot with this because we're charged with implementing what they've done and they've implemented something not adequately funded". "If we can do that, I think we can be successful", said Edwards. Also, supporters contend that payday loans play a key role for many low-income people who don't have access to other types of credit. Earlier in the week she admitted the fate of the bill looked bleak.

"We'll make it work", he says.

Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) has said the bill is illegal because it alters an inviolable contract and will likely lose any court challenge.

"At the end of the day, House Bill 140 has about $7.6 million in funding reductions this year and about $20 million next year", Coe said.

"The changes we made were significant to him", Galvano said of the amendment that removed most classroom teachers from the proposal to arm school personnel, called the "guardian" program. ". I think the top priority will be our budget that. does the kind of things we need to make the state competitive, and education is part of that". Lawmakers have committed to putting $3.3 billion into the pension system over the next two years to keep it solvent, prompting budget cuts across most state agencies.

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